If you think the answer could be YES to any of these 2 questions – evaluate. If NO – park it in the long grass. 1. Could the route to an ISO Certification improve or make your business more Robust? 2. Could ISO Certification be a route to New Business? evaluate if ISO 9001 or ISO 27001 will Profit Your Business – QUICK CHECK #iso9001 Quality #Management – #iso27001 #InformationSecurity – #ukas #certification
Obtaining ISO Certification should be a mark that a company has achieved the requirements of an International Standard and is independently audited ongoing to ensure standards are maintained, however not all badges are equal & neither are all Certifications – Buyer Beware! If a company is displaying the actual ISO Logo it is fraudulent as ISO do not permit anybody to use their logo. Buyers can easily be duped or confused, the below logo is for the International Socialist Organisation. ISO only recognise one member body from each country and that body must also be recognised by their Gov – in the UK it is UKAS. Only a UKAS Certification can guarantee independent ISO recognised certification in the UK. Check for the UKAS logo or that the Certification Company is UKAS Approved, then ask for a copy of the company’s certificate – don’t rely solely on a logo or a claim… #iso9001 Quality #iso27001 Information Security #iso14001 Environment #iso45001 Health & Safety #iso22301 Business Continuity #iso20000 IT Service Mgt …we deliver Independent #UKAS #Certification only – www.qmuk.co.uk
QMUK 17yrs Today – Growing Business by Growing Businesses! & thanks to all the businesses we have worked & grown with over the last 17 years – Orion (Computer Consumables Distributor) who we guided through ISO 9001 & 14001 in 2004, bought in 2005 by Westcoast Wstore (IT Reseller) who we guided through ISO 9001 & 14001 in 2009 – bought by Misco/Symantex in 2009 who we also helped through ISO 14001 in the same year Optevia (Microsoft Cloud based CRM Systems) who we guided through ISO 9001 & 27001 in 2014 – bought by IBM Global Business Services Division 2016 Blue Chip (Managed IT Services & Cloud Hosting) who we guided through ISO 9001 & 27001 in 2014 – bought out by GCI in 2017 who we also helped through ISO 9001, 27001 & 14001 in 2013 EPS Research (Clinical Data Analysis) who we guided through ISO 9001 & 27001 in 2014 also – bought out by IQVIA in 2017 Current Clients: MLL Telecom Grown from 55 to 130 staff in just over 2 years, CTS (Combined Tech Serv) Grown 30% in 2 years, Wilkinson Eyre Grown 50%, secured Battersea Power St Project and with the challenges of GDPR The Telecom Marketing Company continue to grow & prosper…. Find out how we can work with you & help YOUR business Grow
Many companies make bold marketing claims that are hard to prove & often unsubstantiated, so go largely unbelieved. So Keep it Simple: Say It – Do it – Prove It! In purchasing your product or Service with the exception of cost, what elements are most important to your Customer? Quality of Product or Service? When customers find a product or service they trust, they return, make repeat purchases, and recommend the product or service to others. Develop a Mgt System with processes that consistently deliver on time & at minimum, to your customer’s requirements. Then Independently certify your Claims – ISO 9001 Certification Security of Their Information & Privacy? Without the proper checks and balances in place to safeguard customer data, things can go sideways very quickly. Develop a Mgt System that risk assesses all information you hold ensuring you fully implement the controls required to effectively protect both their & your own information, then inspire customer confidence by Independently Certifying – ISO 27001 Certification The Potential Health & Safety Impact of Your Operations: Health and safety is an integral part of any and every business as it ensures that the well-being of employees, customers and visitors is protected. Alleviate potential customer concerns over the Safety of your operations, products or services by having your H&S Systems certified – ISO 45001 Certification – (replacing OHSAS 18001) Your Possible Impact on the Environment or Their Environmental Profile: Many companies place great importance on their Environmental profile. A Unilever study reveals a third of consumers are now buying from brands based on their social and environmental impact. Good practice can attract new customers Demonstrate you take your potential environmental impacts seriously by certifying to a recognised Environmental Standard – ISO 14001 Certification Wear the badges with pride – #iso9001 #iso27001 #iso45001 #iso14001 Say It – Do it……….. PROVE IT!
It is essential you make an informed decision on whether ISO 9001, ISO 27001 or any of the other standards will help or profit your company before embarking on the Certification process, particularly small businesses that may invest time and money but gain no resulting benefit or return on investment. The 2 main reasons for seeking ISO Certifications are simple – Business Improvement or access to New Business. You should consider the reasons for pursuing Certification below prior to any decision – Business Improvement • Your business is expanding but you feel your processes and systems may not be robust enough to cope • Your business processes have been static for many years and you want a tool to drive improvements • There is obvious scope for rationalising processes & increasing efficiency and profitability • You fear your IT Systems & operations may not be secure enough to protect your business & the critical information it holds (ISO 27001) Access to New Business • Your business is growing and the competitors you wish to compete with hold Certifications • You wish to access Public Sector work or Frameworks • Certification requirements are more frequently appearing on tenders • Potential or current customers are asking if you have Certifications • You are a new or small business and want to verify your credentials with Certification to compete with more established companies • You fear the effect of Brexit and want to maintain the maximum competitive edge Look at the processes of achieving certification considering the costs and man-hours involved. We would obviously advise consultancy help, as although this has a cost attached, it will greatly reduce the number of in-house hours consumed by personnel inexperienced in the certification process. Obtain more than one consultancy quote and ensure you determine the cost of internal man-hours in addition to the consultancy fees. On establishing the ultimate cost, consider if it will produce a return on your investment. For the smaller businesses or new starts it is worth speaking to potential customers & directly asking – will Certification improve our chances of doing new business? Get a free & brief initial review & honest quote from us that will include our costs, UKAS Certification Fees & the estimated man-hours your people will have to invest, and then GO COMPARE…… Quotes by email correspondence – no Sales Pitches ENQUIRIES
From our experience businesses pursuing ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 14001 or OHSAS 18001 do it for one of 3 reasons: • To fulfil tender or customer requirements and win new work • To drive Business or Process improvement • Both of the above I would guestimate from our experience 20% of businesses pursue certification to solely fulfil tender or customer requirements and win new work. A similar percentage would use their certification project to focus mainly on driving Business or Process improvement. The bulk of businesses want the certification to win new work but engage with the process of attaining certification, to benefit from both Business & process improvements. For any Business considering implementing the standards we would always ask that they consider Return on Investment. Firstly obtain a costing for the certification route you think could best help you improve in your operations & best serve a positive outcome in gaining your chosen certification. See previous post for various methods of attaining certification. The main financial benefit will be the additional tenders it qualifies you for & the extra work it may bring in – ask your potential clients if it could give you a more favourable outcome when bidding for work. Benefits outside of this most obvious financial reward are normally found in the project phase & can be – ISO 9001 Project Phase • Enables you to examine your current operating processes & identify areas for improvement • Pushes you to rationalise & define systematic processes that ensures all are “singing off the same hymn sheet” within the business • Clearly defined business processes support company growth “before things get out of control” ISO 27001 Project Phase • Ensures you identify all information stored within the company & it’s importance to your business • Systematically guides you through risk assessing the threats & vulnerabilities to the information you hold • Ensures you put in adequate controls to protect your information and ultimately your business ISO 14001 Project Phase • Identifies any aspect of your business that can impact the environment • Makes you evaluate the impacts your business could have on the environment & identifies the controls needed to reduce the likelihood or prevent such impacts • Ensures an awareness of Environmental Legislation & avoids any unnecessary & “crippling” fines OHSAS 18001 Project Phase • Identifies any Hazards within your business that could impact Human Health or cause Accidents • Makes you evaluate the Risks associated with these Hazards & identifies the controls needed to reduce the likelihood of accidents or affects on Human Health • Ensures an awareness of Health and Safety Legislation, avoids any unnecessary “crippling” fines & most importantly protects both your employees and anybody else who can be affected by your work These are just a few bullet points on some of the ways certification can help your business, there are many more. So if you want any further info just get in touch. email@example.com
“Quality” being defined as the ability to deliver to pre-defined requirements – can an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) company ever really deliver quality, with so many variables & the output being so unpredictable? At QM.UK we have tried 3 different SEO companies over the years; all at least guaranteeing they would improve our website positioning on the major search engines. Alas none delivered, but actually dropped our site in the ratings. So can an SEO Company ever achieve ISO 9001 Certification – YES, it can…. I often advise that ISO 9001 is certification of your Management System, not your product or service. Certification to the standard confirms your Management System has achieved a standard that can ensure consistency of process & quality of output. If the requirement is a Ford Fiesta you consistently deliver a Ford Fiesta, same if it is a Rolls Royce. Trouble with SEO is, even with a system in place, the output still varies! I therefore have had to change my view that ISO 9001 Certifies a company’s ability to deliver to pre-defined requirements – it can only “maximize likelihood” of a pre-defined output. For an SEO company to achieve ISO 9001 it would have to demonstrate consistency of processes and that it has the necessary tools in place to measure against planned results and make improvements where possible. It is similar for Telemarketing firms for whom we have delivered ISO 9001 UKAS Certifications. So personally I would still recommend selecting an SEO company that has ISO 9001 Certification, as it does demonstrate in a sector open to such change and variables – they at least have certified systems to measure & maximize performance, increasing the “Likelihood” of your desired outcome – ROI. Or just type SEO into Google and see how well they have optimized their own website 🙂 QM.UK
So just how much of a Benchmark is it – How Credible is ISO Certification? ISO 9001 ISO 9001 is the Quality Standard but as such the most open to controversy. This is because there is often confusion as to what “Quality” actually is. If one company produced a Ford Focus & another a Ferrari, most would regard the later as having produced the highest Quality Product. However “Quality” is defined as the ability to deliver to pre-defined requirements. Therefore if the requirements were a roomy car that did 40 mpg & could be retailed at less than £20k, the production of a Ferrari would be a very poor Quality Output. It should also be noted that ISO 9001 is certification of your Management System, not your product or service. Certification to the standard confirms your Management System has achieved a standard that can ensure consistency of product or service. What level a company sets itself to deliver is up to them and in fact Ford and Ferrari could operate to the very same Quality Management System – they just produce to different specifications. So before you right off an ISO 9001 company you have to ask, are they consistently delivering to their (or your) specification – not everybody can afford a Ferrari. ISO 27001 The Information Security Standard. This is the most current & in demand as Cyber Attacks become more frequent & companies become more aware of their vulnerabilities and the need to secure services from companies that can safeguard their information. This standard is the most reliable measure of a company’s credentials, as Information Security is more measurable and less subjective than Quality. There are 2 main parts to ISO 27001. A company has to identify all of its Information Assets, Risk Assess & Control. The other main part of ISO 27001 is a detailed list of “Control Objectives” (requirements) for which, if applicable – you must put a control in place. This makes 27001 the most measurable & auditable of standards, therefore Certification does ensure a high level of Information Security. ISO 14001 The Environmental Standard. This is a reliable measure that a company has systematic control over any possible environmental impact and has plans in place for continual improvement. A large part of this is similar to 27001 in that a company has to identify all of its Environmental Aspects rather than Information Assets, but still Risk Assesses & Controls. Environmental Objectives must also be established to where possible, continually improve environmental performance. If you feel a company claiming to be holding one of these standards is poorly performing, don’t take it on face value. Check it is a credible Certification, or that it is a certification at all. If it is a UKAS Approved Certification Body ask for their name or take it off a displayed logo and contact them asking if the company is actually ISO Registered with them. If it is in the UK and not a UKAS Certification, it’s best not taking it as verification of anything…… firstname.lastname@example.org
Time Scale varies greatly for the various ISO offerings in the Market Place, as does client requirements & expectations. The time to Certification depends on Internal Expertise, External Help, Management Commitment, Internal Resource & the Route you chose. As independent UKAS Certification is the only certification recognised by ISO & the British Government, if you choose any other route – pay your money and demand it right away. Don’t be surprised though if it costs business rather than creates. 3 main routes to UKAS Certification: 1. Internal Expertise If you have an internal member of your team who has been through the process before or is a relevant practising Quality, Information Security, Environmental or Health & Safety Mgr, he will probably be able to successfully guide you through the process. Timeframe will depend on how much experience they have of taking organisations through the process & how much commitment they get from their colleagues. Being internal the most frequent downfall is that chargeable work often tends to take priority & ISO is often put on the back burner – or seen as almost the sole responsibility of that Manager & is hard to integrate. 2. Training If you wish to proceed without an external consultant but do not have the full internal expertise to proceed, there are training courses available. We would recommend you seek UKAS Certification Bodies for these courses. The trouble is these courses are very generic & we would only recommend this route if you have a Manager or person who may just fall short. We would recommend them as refresher or top-up courses, rather than a one-stop shop to ISO Certification. Timeframe raises same concerns as previous route, only a less experienced person is likely to attract less internal commitment & their aptitude for training is less predictable. The less experienced the person is, the more likely they are to go “Belt & Braces” with their systems to ensure conformance to all the clauses. This often produces cumbersome systems costly & time consuming to maintain ongoing. 3. External Consultancy External Consultants who have several years experience of implementing systems & gaining ISO Certification should give a more predictable outcome. “Buyers Beware” – consultants can promise to meet your fast-track timeframes, but it is still less than predictable. To successfully implement a system & be able to demonstrate full integration into your working practices, there still requires internal commitment & resource. While an external consultant can produce a lean, dynamic system & guarantee a positive outcome – timeframe will still rely heavily on Internal Commitment. While at QM.UK we offer the third option, we recommend you explore all options before making a decision. QM.UK UKAS ISO 9001. ISO 27001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 Consultants
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and as of 2013 worked in 164 countries. There is only one National Standards Body recognised from each country and they in turn must be recognised by their Government. UKAS is the only ISO recognised Body in the UK. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body for the United Kingdom, appointed by government, to assess organizations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services. There are many UKAS Approved ISO Certification Bodies, the most commonly recognized being BSI & Lloyds, but there is a full list on their website Gaining UKAS Certification to an ISO Standard demonstrates a company or organization has achieved and operates to a certain standard, been verified by an independent & recognized body. Ongoing audits by the Certification Body evidences they consistently meet these standards. ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized Quality Standard. It defines the elements of organization required by a company to systematically deliver quality products, services or advice. ISO 9001 Certification is verification that you systematically deliver quality services or products. It is a benchmark for potential customers & helps you review and fine tune your own operations ongoing. ISO 27001 is the internationally recognized Information Security Management Standard. It defines the elements of control required by a company to protect all information it holds. In an ever increasing age of security awareness & media exposure of careless information handling, the protection of data is critical. Sectors such as finance, health, public and IT have become particularly sensitive. Hence, certification to the standard is increasingly winning both confidence & new contracts. ISO 14001 is the internationally recognized Environmental Standard. It defines the elements of organization required by a company to control the impact of their activities, products or services on the environment. 14001 Certification demonstrates to an increasingly aware public & business community – a commitment to minimize your impact on their environment. It gives confidence that customer’s environmental credentials & good names won’t be tarnished by their suppliers operations In general companies & organisations that can demonstrate their operational standards are UKAS certified, gain more confidence in the Market Place.